Fiction: Just a buss

Gina was steaming. ”I just don’t understand you guys! Why did he have to buss me, just like that?!”

 

“Maybe because you invited him to…?” offered Lawrence. The gang was sitting in the far end of the cafeteria, securely out of earshot from the rest of all the students spending the last ten minutes of their lunch break in the cool cafeteria. It was uncomfortably hot outside, even though it was only in the middle of spring.

 

“But I most certainly did not.”

 

“Seems to me that taking him for a walk down by the lake is an invitation…” Carl said, trying to mediate.

 

“…Cause’ if that isn’t, I’m not sure if anything is.” Kayne filed in, swooping all mediation away as fast as it’d come.

 

“But you’re never sure of anything, anyway.” Carl bit back, making a face. Kayne flashed him a cool smile in response, satisfaction painted all over his face. Whatever Carl said he’d never be able to steal back what he’d stolen in the first place.

 

“Anyway. Anyway.“ Lawrence tried for some order. “Some structure, anyone?” He turned to face Gina. “From the start; what happened?”

 

Sometimes when a question is asked there is that short, short pause when everyone present are processing the question in question. The extent and impact of these pauses vary a lot. This one was considerable.

 

The auburn youth regained her posture and flung out with her arms and almost cried in exasperation: “Oh, nothing, you doffeldomp!” How she managed to scream without raising her voice was a mystery to the others. Carl had once claimed that his mum could do it too, but the other boys hadn’t believed him – no one could pull that off like Gina.

 

Lawrence sighed and continued in a gentle voice “Not what happened, but what happened?”

 

“Oh, well, uh, we’ve sort of been talking on an off lately, between breaks and such. Today he just asked me if I was up for a walk during lunch – and we had the better part of an hour so I figured, ‘why not?’.” She was visibly calming down, but the frustration in her voice was still there.

 

“Uhu, go on…”

 

“Well, yeah, and we walked, and we talked. And we stopped to have a look at a really big swan. Nothing special! Us guys do stuff like that all the time! You know, just hang around. But then when we got back here he just… He just bussed me!”

 

There was a pause. The silence was overwhelming.

 

“Well, you do know that he’s…” Carl cut himself off after receiving killer gazes from both the other males present. Too late.

 

“Well, of course I know he’s got a lot of money. His father owns a company, dimwit.” Gina fired back, missing the point totally. Behind her back Lawrence sighed in relief.

 

Kayne removed the black sunglasses he carried with him all the time and started fidgeting with them and said: “Question is: Did you like it?”

 

“What kind of question is that?”

 

“Oh, it’s the straightforward kind of type, sort of.” Lawrence drew his hand through his ‘not-short-but-not-long-either’ dark blonde hair (some would argue it was light brown, while he himself claimed it to be ‘bronde’ – something in the middle). Damn it. He’d really wanted to ask that question himself. Darn Kayne to beat him to it. “More or less means what it says.”

 

“It wasn’t a question, hop-squash.”

 

“Oh, but it certainly was. It was a question I asked you.” Kayne put his glasses back on and flashed a big smile, face beaming, at Gina. He really loved playing this part in conversations.

 

“Argh! Not what you said, what I said! That wasn’t a question! That was a way of questioning the initial question…” Gina made a show to grab and rip her own hair in frustration, a motion she’d patented long in the past.

 

“Would you just answer the initial question instead, then?” Lawrence prompted, aware that they were running a bit low on time – class was due in just a couple of minutes.

 

“I’ve forgotten it by now…” This, on the other hand, was unusual when it came to Gina – she was always on top verbally. Probably some cool’s gone on vacation at the moment, thought Lawrence.

 

“Did you like it?” Carl reminded the rest of the group, and also reminding them of his presence at the table.

 

“Oh, well. Yeah, I guess? It all happened so fast.” At this moment someone perceptive would have been able to see a small blush on her face, but none of her three friends did. Since years back they were all totally sure that Gina really couldn’t blush, even if she wanted to.

 

There was another small thoughtful pause. Lawrence gave Kayne a quick nod and they rose. The others followed suit. They started towards the lecture hall.

 

Lawrence asked “You gonna’ hang in there? We can talk more about it after school if you want to. Probably you only have to wrap your head around the idea that you’ve got someone here that fancy you.”

 

“And a really good-looking courtier to boot.” Kayne added smartly, earning a light punch on the shoulder from Gina. She was smiling.

 

“Yeah, probably only need to wrap my head around it, as you’re saying. Guess I’ll have to talk to him later this afternoon or something. Thanks for being here guys.”

 

“Any time pal! We’ll be here for all the nasty details too, y’know.” This time Kayne earned a slightly harder punch. But it was alright. The old Gina was back with them once more and they were all laughing heartedly together on their way to class.


Flash Fiction: Mad dash

He turned the corner, making a ninety degree turn almost on the spot. He rushed down the lane with the blood pumping in his ears. They were after him. He didn’t know how far, but so far far enough.

 

He crossed the street, backwards somersaulting to dodge a passing car. Landing he dared a quick look back towards the corner he’d just passed. The first of his pursuers, a tall stranger in a grey duster and black glasses, had just turned it.

 

He made a slide to pass under a wagon on collision course, darting into an alley to his left as fast as his feet were under himself again. There’s no way they could have seen him in his hiding spot, there’s really no way! They must’ve been tipped, have known it from the start that he was there all along. But How?!

 

He heard his first pursuer round the corner to the alley by gliding on the dust and pebbles. The man was panting. Raime, in turn, became aware of his own panting. It wasn’t severe yet, but he was pushing it. Better do it now than never, he told himself. If there’s ever a time to push yourself to the limit it’s got to be at times like these.

 

At the end of the alley there was a fence of planks with a dumpster situated comfortably well beneath it. A leap and a one-two stride and he was passed it, wishing intently that the somewhat bigger pursuers would lack the finesse to pass the obstacle in a likewise manner, slowing them down. But how many pursuers were there, anyway? There had been four grey duster-clad guards at the interchange. The logical thing would be to send two and keep the other two, physical security going before information security and all that.

 

There was a loud crack behind him as a show that the pursuers hadn’t bothered crossing over than rather through the fence. They were obviously plain muscle, using brute force before anything even resembling finesse. He smirked.

 

The fence had marked the lower part of a T-intersection, and Raime had taken off directly to the right after his nimble crossing. The pursuers on the other hand had needed to make a quick stop to get their bearings, and also to localize which way their subject had gone off to. They did, eventually, and a girl exclaimed “There he is!”. There were two pursuers, then.

 

Raime didn’t know how much he’d gained; maybe a second, maybe one and a half? No matter. He continued dashing forward without pause, no hesitation. He had some ten meters on his pursuers and recognized that he had roughly the same distance left of this backyard corridor of the giant city before hitting open ground.

 

That, in itself, wasn’t a problem – ten meters is not a long distance in a sprint. A potential problem, however, was the big pool of sludge laid out a short distance in front of him. Passing through it would be no good, eventually, as sludgy shoes are good for surprise nose-diving practice and other maneuvers inappropriate while being in a chase. He wouldn’t be able to cross it with a leap either – no matter how much faith you put in your own abilities everybody has to realize that there are limits to your own ability, even when you pass for a natural when it comes to agility. Only one option left then: Wall running had never really been one of Raimes favorites, but given previous mentioned options it was the more favorable.

 

For a second blocking out the rest of the world while performing the move he then landed on the other side without losing much momentum, but his heart was beating hard in his chest by now both due to the amounting exhaustion and for the tension created by the move. It was not without satisfaction, however, that he heard his pursuers running right through the puddle a couple seconds later. At least their trousers, shoes, and probably their dusters too, were ruined now, and so he knew that he’d at least had them suffer some damage if it turned out that they’d catch up with him. This time he didn’t smile though – he didn’t have time to avert even that small an amount of energy. It was all coming to a close now.

 

He’d literally flown out of the alley and almost collided with first an old man with a cart selling apples and pears, and then with a car. Going with the momentum he continued crossing the road, jumping and rolling on the roof of another car, landing nimbly on the sidewalk on the other side of the road.

 

His pursuers were older, bigger and stronger than him, outclassing him in every way. There was no time to think, there was no time for nothing. Yet he gave himself half a second to catch his breath while still being in the crouch he’d landed in. He had to find a safe spot. He couldn’t run forever –he’d run for nearly five minutes so far and was almost out of breath by now. But he couldn’t give them a fight either – he was no fight for them even without the looming exhaustion. He darted left.

 

He could try losing them in a crowd, but in his mad dash he’d lost his bearings halfway through the chase so he had no idea where the closest square or marketplace would be.

 

He must have thought to hard on it, though, because out of nowhere there was another man in a grey duster making a grab for him. He didn’t even try do dodge it, but instead he tried to roll with the punch. The man had obviously seen that one before though as when he’d gotten a hold on Raimes collar he just didn’t let go. It was all over.

 

But then there was the loud crack of breaking wood. And the man in the grey duster was lying on the ground, head covered in blood. And Jenny was there. And the rebels where there. He was saved. Consciousness left him.


Flash Fiction: WIT

The door flew up with a crash and Lawrence towered in the doorway. ”Hey, guys! I’ve come up with this really smart thing I’ve just gotta’ tell you about!” he told the rest, face beaming.

 

“Oh, yeah, hi Lawrence. Nice seeing you too. Long time no see and everything.” said Gina sarcastically, wrapping her head around the idea that the discussion taking place prior to Lawrence arrival was now to be lost forever.

 

“It wasn’t that long time ago, Gina. Like, twenty minutes or something?” said Carl a bit bewildered, correcting his big round glasses after nearly dropping them due to Lawrence somewhat sudden appearance.

 

“You’re no good at picking up intonation are you, kiddo?” said Kayne, flashing one of ‘those smiles’ at his two day junior.

 

“It’s enunciation, not intonation, rubberhead. And anyways, you guys just gotta’ hear this!” flashed Lawrence, losing no significant degree of verbal momentum.

 

“Well, bring it on then, mr Law.” Gina made a swing around to make her chair face the one Lawrence now had seated himself on, her long auburn hair doing that thing that every boy dreams of their girlfriends hair doing every  time they turn around. The others faced Lawrence as well, Kayne trying for a face intended to tell Lawrence ‘but do it quick, we were somewhat into something here before you runted in in your usual manner’ but failing remarkably considering the badly veiled excitement there was to find in his matte brown eyes.

 

“Well, it’s called WIT.”

 

“That is, you decided it to be called WIT?” Carl remarked smartly.

 

“It’s short for Well Invested Time, as of the opposite NSWIT…” Lawrence rumbled on, oblivious to Carl’s interruption.

 

“…Which is short for Not So Well Invested Time, just like Not So Cool Car is the opposite of Cool Car, I presume?” Gina filled in with a voice whose poison could kill elephants. She was seeing where this was going.

 

“Yo, girl, CC was a really good abbreviation! It saves you like one whole crucial second when it comes to CC-spotting.” Kayne jumped to Lawrence defense.

 

“It is a good abbreviation, Kayne. Tense, man.” Lawrence corrected, a pained expression on his face.

 

“Anyway, what’s up with WIT?” Carl soldiered on, preferring not to get stuck in the muck of the CC‑discussion again - one of Lawrence less brilliant ideas considering Kaynes and Lawrence love for it as in opposite of Ginas… less appreciative opinion. ‘Why have an abbreviation for something as boring as car-spotting?! There’s like one million other stuff we can do that is less boring that sitting on the highway roadside looking for “cool” cars! I mean; cars!’ And Carl was all in for that argument too – why look for cool cars on the highway while you could as well look em’ up on the web? Or even better; drive one of them yourself in one of those games of his?

 

“It’s all about not throwing time away. Everything you do need to be meaningful for you and your future existence.” continued Lawrence.

 

“Or anyone else’s existence, that’s good too.” he added quickly after realizing Gina’s somewhat stern gaze fixed on him.

 

“But why court girls then?” Kayne asked, hoping for the same kind of reaction from Gina, instead earning a silent ignore. He quickly turned to Carl for support.

 

“Well, courting makes you feel good, right? And feelgood’s gotta’ count for something, right Lawrence?” Carl drew a hand through his short and not so tidy blonde hair, offering a what girls would have agreed on being a very cute but not so attractable little smile.

 

“Exactly! I knew you would understand Carl. It’s all about not doing stuff that’s just a waste of time.”

 

“You’ve abbreviated waste of time to WOT too, am I right?” Gina asked, leaning back sarcasm again.

 

“Um, no, but now that you mention it…”

 

Gina sighed.

 

“But I’m still not following you” said Kayne. (“No surprise there.” Gina muttered under her breath.) “Could you give me some example of sorts?”

 

“But I did…” whined Carl, being cut off by Lawrence drawing himself up to his full height (not considerably impressive sitting down, and not that impressive while standing up either, for the matter), entering his lecturer role. He loved this part:

 

“Well, walking is the right thing to do when you have time – you save on the environment and your physical condition improves. But if you’re low on time then don’t bother the walk – you’ll only feel stressed, so take the car instead.”

 

“Um…” Kayne yielded. Lawrence opted for something more comprehendible for guys spending most of their time car-spotting, pursuing girls and watching TV:

 

“Okey, you should never watch boring shows TV. If a boring show goes on, or if…”

 

“When” Gina corrected.

 

“…there is a commercial break you get out of the sofa and do something else until there’s a good show on again.”

 

“Or I can just swap the channel?” offered Kayne.

 

“Well, you could do that, but that not the same.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Oh, just because…”

 

“It’s like spreading your assets to thin, like having two or more favorite cars at the same time.” Carl helped out.

 

“Oh, God forbid.” Kayne said, understanding filling his voice. Carl certainly knew Kaynes soft spots.

 

“Anyway, guys, class starts again in ten minutes. Better get ready.” Gina started collecting her books and lecture notes from the table.

 

“But professor Obwald is always late! So there shouldn’t be a problem if we be to, right…?” pleaded Lawrence, still not done with explaining all the good things about the WIT theory.

 

“Oh, save it for this afternoon. We’ll hear you out after school.” she said, flashing him a sincere smile.

 

“But…”

 

“Remember: It’s microeconomics; we need to get at least acceptable seats today, unlike yesterday.” Gina soldiered on.

 

“It wasn’t my fault my shoelace kept untying itself!” Kayne exclaimed in self defense.

 

Gina rose giving Kayne a wink, still with the smile on her face. “Of course it wasn’t. It never is. Now get a move on, soldier.”


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